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How can eating salad help keep my joints healthy?

To keep your knees and hands free of arthritis, here's what you should have before each meal: a small salad. Why? Because the vitamin K in leafy greens -- think cabbage, spinach, and Swiss chard, for starters -- could help reduce your risk of joint damage.

In a study of older adults, those with higher blood levels of vitamin K were significantly less likely to develop the bone spurs and cartilage damage that are common in painful osteoarthritis. Hands seemed to benefit most, but people's knees got some protection, too. Just one word of caution: If you're on blood thinners, check with your doctor about appropriate K intake.

You shouldn't need a vitamin K supplement if you eat your greens -- especially dark ones. (Whew. One less supplement to take.) Greens just not your thing? No problem. Broccoli and asparagus make tasty alternatives.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.